According to rabbinic accounts, the Sanhedrin was destined to pass through ten exiles during the period 30-170, and to be compelled to wander from place to place. One of its stations was to be the city of Beth-she'arim, in which R. Judah I. resided for a long time (R. H. 31b; Sanh. 32b; Ket. 103b). As the next place of sojourn was Sepphoris, Beth-she'arim is identified with El-Shajerah (Al-Shajarah), south of Sepphoris (Neubauer, "G. T." p. 200). From the etymology of the name, , Schwarz ("Das Heilige Land," p. 138) identifies it with the modern village Turan at the Jebel Turan northeast of Sepphoris (Fischer and Guthe's Map of Palestine, c. 3).
According to Tosef., Ter. vii. 14, Johanan b. Nuri also dwelt in Beth-she'arim; and, as the same place is called in Yer. Ter. viii. 46a, the two names must be identical. The latter name of the place is used also in Yer. Kil. ix. 32b and Yer. Ket. xii. 35a: thither was conveyed the coffin of R. Judah I., who died in Sepphoris. is also mentioned as a place of burial in Yer. M. Ḳ. iii. 82c. Certain texts of the latter, however, substitute Bet-biri in the neighborhood of Cæsarea.
- Kohut, Aruch Completum, ii. 87;
- Hildesheimer, Beiträge zur Geographie Palästina's, p. 39;
- Buhl, Geographie des Alten Palästina, p. 217.